Vriesea bromeliads include some of the bigger types of these plants and Vriesea platynema is a large, handsome species, with some lovely cultivars and can grow up to 1m in height. It comes from the West Indies and the east of South America. This particular one (pictured) is possibly Vriesea platynema var. rubra and has funnel-shaped rosettes with a pattern of purple netting on the foliage and an overall purple tinge. It has a tall flower spike with red bracts and yellow-petalled flowers. Many Vriesea can tolerate direct sunlight as well as being useful for shaded spots. Most can be grown epiphytically in the forks of trees. Bromeliads grown in pots can create a strong feature in a shady area of the garden.